REPORT NO. 506
ON THE SITUATION OF
THE HUMAN RIGHTS
AND FREEDOMS IN KOSOVA
FROM JULY 16
UNTIL JULY 23, 2000
REPORT no. 506
on the situation of human rights and freedoms in Kosova from July 16 until July 23, 2000
The trend of killings between members of the same ethnic group continues. No killings between members of different ethnic groups were reported. In the northern part of Mitrovica the attacks against Albanian and Bosniac families and their wealth continue. Several attacks against internationals were reported as well. Many Albanian and Bosniac families were evicted from their flats. The very same happened to the international police officers who had rented these flats. The last Albanian family was expelled from Zveçan. In the northern part of Mitrovica the turmoil, protests and demonstrations continued. The protestors managed to extort the release of a Serbian youngster who was accused of attacking, looting and burning a car owned by an Albanian. In the meantime, the trials of those accused for war crimes, killings, woundings, etc., continue to be dragged out. The Serbian courts continue the trials of Albanian prisoners.
Between July 16 and July 23, 5 Albanians were killed, an Albanian woman was raped and 3 Serbs were wounded. 9 Albanians were sentenced at the district court in Kraleva (Serbia) to a total of 35 years and 5 months of imprisonment. 20 Albanians from Rahovec and 7 from the municipality of Drenas were released from the prisons of Serbia. 2 Albanians died in the Serbian prisons (they were arrested by the Serbian forces in 1999). 4 corpses were found (killed in 1999). One of the victims was identified (he went missing in May 1999).
On July 17, at about 11 p.m., Fetë F. Berisha (65) was shot dead by unidentified persons in the vicinity of his house in the village of Rreznar (Irzniq) near Deçan.
On July 19, at about
8.30 p.m., Ramiz Miftar Kiçina (19) from the village of Lugdren
(Bainca) was stabbed to death in the center of Drenas. The victim was a
member of the Guard of Kosova.
-At 11 p.m., 2 Albanians were shot dead in Prishtina. It is supposed that the killing is a result of a family dispute. UNMIK police arrested a 65-year-old Albanian.
On July 23, at 4 a.m., the corpse of an unidentified Albanian (21) was found 2 km to the west of the village of Xërxa near Rahovec.
BURIM: Spanish soldiers
found 2 corpses in the vicinity of the buildings of the former agricultural
cooperative in Rakosh. The victims were killed in 1999.
GJAKOVA: While working on the banks of the Drini River, a villager from Rogova found the decomposed corpse of a male person. The victim is aged between 30 and 35. Locals say that there is a number of graves in the vicinity of Rogova (unidentified people who were killed by the Serbian forces and buried by members of the KLA). The Kosova Police Service and the teams of the Hague Tribunal were informed on this.
PEJA: On July 19, the corpse of Sali Musë Demaj (73) from the village of Alba e Madhe was found in the mountains of Alba e Madhe (Jabllanica e Madhe). Sali went missing on May 24, 1999.
Disappearances and kidnappings
GJAKOVA: According to KFOR, soldiers of the “Task Force Falcon” Battalion, in cooperation with the Italian military police arrested 2 Albanians suspected for having attempted to abduct a child in the vicinity of the Orthodox Church in Gjakova.
The prisoners, trials
PRISHTINA: On July 13,
the following Albanians from Mitrovica, Prishtina and Kastriot (Obiliq)
were sentenced at the district court in Kraleva (Serbia) to a total of
35 years and 5 months of imprisonment: Ekrem Avdiu (29) to 9 years of imprisonment,
Shpend Kopriva (32) to 7 years and 4 months, Lulzim Ymeri (25) and Artan
Bikliqi (23) to 3 years and 4 months each, Nexhmedin Llausha (47) and Krenar
Telqiu (23) to 3 years of imprisonment each, Ilir Hoxha (25) to 2 years
and 8 months, Bashkim Gllogovci (21) to 2 years and Sezai Misini (42) to
1 year and 9 months of imprisonment.
On July 17, the district court in Pozharevc (Serbia) reviewed the trial of a group of 20 Albanians and reduced their prison terms in half (from 4 years to 2 years of imprisonment each). On July 21, 1998, they were arrested in their homes in the town of Rahovec. The following were sentenced on March 12, 1999 at the district court in Prizren: brothers Beqir Kollari, Mehdi Kollari and Jusuf Kollari; Abdyl Kleçka and his 2 sons Behadin Kleçka and Eshref Kleçka, Kadri Dërguti, Xhevdet Dërguti, Fadil Isma, Zijadin Miftari, Haki Haxhimustafa, Bekim Rama, Arsim Hasku, Florim Haxhi Ymeri, Adnan Topalli, Sabit Shehu, Fahredin Dina, Bashkim Hoxha, Esat Kasapi and Burim Ejupi. They were all released after 4 days. The very same day Sami Rukiqi from Drenas was released. In 1999, Ramadan Miftari, Nijazi Dina and Sylejman Shtavica were sentenced in absentia.
DRENAS: On July 20, the following were released from the prisons of Serbia: Hasan Vrellaku, Afrim Vrellaku and Naim Leku from the village of Lugdren (Bainca) as well as Zenel Ademi, Milazim Shehu and Rasim Gjota from Dritan (Dobroshec). They were arrested by the Serbian forces in 1998.
GJILAN: On July 20, the trial against Mirolub Momçiloviq (1948) and his sons Boban (1974) and Jugoslav Momçiloviq (1958) from Gjilan, accused for the killing of Afrim Gagica and the attempted murder of Bekim Shabani continued at the district court in Gjilan.
BURIM: According to the ICRC, Rexhep Demë Mushaku (46) from the village of Buzëdrin (Trubuhoc) was found dead in the prison in Leskovc (Serbia). On May 8, 1999 he was arrested by the Serbian police and paramilitary forces in the village of Zallç.
KAÇANIK: According to the ICRC, on July 22 Adem Qail Sallahu (1962) from the village of Biçec died in the prison in Pozharevc (Serbia). He was arrested by the Serbian police on May 5, 1999 at the border cross in Hani i Elezit.
VITI: At midnight, unidentified persons demolished the offices of the Association of the KLA Invalids of War in Vitia. This is the second attack on these offices. Doors and furniture were damaged.
MITROVICA: At about 9
a.m., a group of Serbs distributed leaflets in the “Ibri” quarter in the
northern part of Mitrovica calling on the Albanians “to leave their homes
and to go to the southern part of town”. Such leaflets were left at the
flats of prof. Sejdi Selman Sylejmani (76) and Bajram Zenel Çerkini
(60). They informed UNMIK police on this. Dragisha Gjusiq and 2 Serbs named
Miroslav and Zharko were seen operating in this quarter. During the war,
they were active in this part of the town as members of the “Sheshelci”
In the village of Tejibër i Epërm (Suhadoll i Epërm), at 2.45 p.m., a group of 30-40 Serbs under the escort of KFOR soldiers, on coming out of the bus, assaulted with stones the family of Hysen Izet Murtezai (47), who was working on the foundations of his house (burned by the Serbian forces). Hysen’s wife Xhyle Emin Murtezai (41) suffered body injuries while trying to shelter her 5 children.
The so-called “Ibri Bridge Guards” prevented the registration of the Serbian population in the northern part of Mitrovica and the municipality of Leposaviq.
GJILAN: According to the UNMIK police, a Serbian youngster was arrested in Gjilan. An explosive device was found under his bed. The Serb, whose identity is kept in secret, had sold his furniture to an Albanian. While the Albanian was transporting the furniture UNMIK police and KFOR soldiers discovered the explosive device.
VITI: Between 8.30 and 10.30 p.m., KFOR blocked the road to Tërpeza. The pretext is unknown. The behavior of KFOR troops was very offensive. Some of the detained stated to the Sub-CDHRF in Vitia that they were taken out of their cars and handcuffed by KFOR soldiers. Later on, they were taken to the yard of the Orthodox Church in Kllokot. Among the detained there were women and children. The detained asked for an explanation, but received none. The soldiers threatened a person who spoke English.
KASTRIOT (OBILIQ): In the evening hours, a hand grenade was thrown at a vacant Serbian house.
GJAKOVA: According to KFOR (Italian troops), at about midnight, a group of some 30 Roma threw stones at 2 cars. The incident occurred in the vicinity of the KFOR checkpoint, near the Roma settlement 2 km. to the East of Gjakova.
between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., a group of 250-300 Serbs protested in the northern
part of Mitrovica and demanded the release of Dalibor Vukoviq (24). The
latter was arrested by the UNMIK police for having burned a vehicle of
theirs. The crowd attacked the peacekeepers. During the scuffles 4 Serbs
and 1 French soldier were injured. An UNMIK police officer was taken hostage
by the Serbs. 2 hours later he was released. During the clashes there were
detonations and fire shots. KFOR soldiers used teargas to disperse the
The protests continued in the afternoon hours. The protestors threatened that if Vukoviq was not released until 7 p.m., they would all go to the streets and that there would be no security for KFOR soldiers and the UNMIK police. They also said that there would be no place for the Albanians in Mitrovica.
In the “Kodra e Minatorëve” quarter 2 Bosniac
families (Toskiq) were evicted from their flats. At 3 p.m., a group of
7 Serbs tried to burn the house of Tahir Rexhep Aliu (65) in the “Ibri”
quarter. Tahir managed to extinguish the fire. The Serbs ill-treated Tahir
and his sister Zehra (57), an invalid. The very same assaulters tried to
burn the house of Shemsi Halil Toskiq (62). Fortunately, the gasoline bottles
fell outside the walls. Shemsi called the UNMIK police. At 5 p.m., the
Serbs returned and evicted the families of Tahir Rexhep Aliu (65), Shemsi
Halil Toskiqi (62), Shaban Kahriman Azemi (69) and Shaban Shabani (74).
At 5.35 p.m., a group of 7 Serbs tried to break the metal doors at the
flats of prof. Sejdi Selman Sylejmani (76), Bajram Zenel Çerkini
(60) and Esat Popoci (66). Sejdi called the UNMIK police, but they never
showed up. When 3 KFOR soldiers arrived the assaulters fled. In the “Ibri”
quarter, 4 Serbs broke into the flat of Avni Beqir Kotorri (44), which
was rented to 2 UNMIK police officers. A Serbian family occupied it.
At 3 p.m., the Serbian protestors blocked all the crossroads in the northern part of the town, and once again demanded the release of Vukoviq. Otherwise, they threatened to kill all the Albanians. 85 employees of the district court were blocked in the court building until 11 p.m. They were evacuated by special police forces from Afghanistan. In armored vehicles they were taken to their homes.
KLINA: At about 8 p.m., unidentified persons opened fire towards Zef Dodaj and his son Martin from the village of Drinisht i Vogël (Krusheva e Vogël). The incident occurred in the village of Vneshtar (Potoçan) near Rahovec, while the 2 were driving through it.
SHARR: Several days after UNMIK had announced that they do not recognize the new names of geographic locations, UNMIK police took off the sign placed in the outskirts of the town of Sharr. The new sign with the name Sharri (former Dragash) was placed on July 15.
MITROVICA: At 10 a.m.,
a group of Serbs evicted the family of prof. Sejdi Selman Sylejmani (76)
from their flat in the “Ibri” quarter. A Serbian family from Prizren was
settled in it. The very same happened to the family of Esat Bajram Popoci
(66). A Serbian family from Mitrovica was settled in it.
At noon, 250-300 Serbs protested in Mitrovica. At 1.30 p.m., 2 UNMIK policemen were taken hostage by a group of Serbs. They were detained until after midnight. The protestors disarmed a number of UNMIK policemen. Later on, they blocked the police station demanding the release of Dalibor Vukoviq. At 7 p.m., French soldiers intervened. At 8.45 p.m., there were 2 powerful blasts in the northern part of the town. Between 10 p.m. and midnight there was shooting from automatic weapons. There was shooting in the village of Tejibër i Epërm (Suhadoll i Epërm) (inhabited by Serbs) as well.
At 2.15 a.m., a group of Serbs threw a hand bomb at the house yard of Sakip Selmani (70) in "Zahir Pajaziti" st. Apart from material damages, there were no casualties. 4 vehicles belonging to Oliver Ivanoviq’s group were noticed near the scene (despite the fact that a police curfew was once again imposed between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.). The police curfew in the northern part of the town is not being respected by the Serbs.
SHARR: In a document
signed by Andrea Goodman, the regional UNMIK administrator, addressed to
Sefedin Bajraktari, the chairman of the municipal court in Sharr, it is
demanded that the Albanian national flag be taken off this building at
latest on July 22. This demand was based on the document dt. May 14, 2000
delivered to the municipal courts and attorney’s offices throughout Kosova,
signed by Nekibe Kelmendi and Sylvie Pantz, the co-directors of the Justice
Department of the KPA. At a meeting held with the Albanian and Bosniac
political parties, in the office of Hajriz Meleqi, the chairman of the
Administrative Board in Sharr, a decision was brought not to accept this.
They stated that they had no objections to the hoisting of the UN flag
next to the Albanian flag.
VUSHTRRI: At about 9.30 p.m., 2 or 3 detonations were heard in the village of Gojbula (a village inhabited by Serbs). A house roof was damaged.
MITROVICA: At about 1
p.m., a group of some 30 Serbs went to the flats of Fahri Mripa, Abdylqerim
Mripa, Ismail Kozgori, Xheladin Peci, Xhafer Abazi, Feriz Hoti, Hamdi Zasella
and Rabije Bekteshoviq, and evicted a number of UNMIK policemen who had
rented them. The flats were occupied by Serbian families.
Dalibor Vukoviq (24), a student of medicine, who was arrested for assaulting an Albanian, looting and burning his car, was released to defend himself in freedom. His detention had caused unrest in which a number of Serbs and UNMIK policemen were injured and UN vehicles were attacked. UNMIK police was forced to suspend its patrols in the northern part of Mitrovica.
PRISHTINA: According to UNMIK police, on July 18, at 7 p.m., an Albanian woman was abducted by 3 unidentified persons in front of the Media House in Prishtina. She was taken to a house and raped. On July 20, at 2.15 p.m. she was released in front of the “Grand” Hotel.
PEJA: According to KFOR soldiers, at about 2 a.m., 3 detonations were heard from the village of Kastrat (Gorazhdec).
MITROVICA: A group of
20 Serbs evicted a number of UNMIK policemen from their flats in the “Ibri”
quarter. The flats belonging to Abedin Osman Selmani (42) and Beqir Mehmeti
(65) were occupied by Serbian families. The family of Skënder Ilazi
was evicted from its flat in Zveçan (this was the last Albanian
family in this municipality). Skënder was assaulted by a Serb called
Gjorgje and his son. He suffered serious injuries on his head.
PRISHTINA: Douglas Davidson, the temporary media commissioner, fined the "Dita" daily to DM 25.000. He warned the "Rilindja" daily and the "Kosovarja" magazine of violating article 4.1 of the 2000/37 Regulation on the conduct of printed press. In a statement issued by the OSCE it is claimed that the "Dita" daily was fined for violating the disposition of the Regulation, which prohibits newspapers from publishing personal data on different individuals, thus, putting their lives at risk. According to Roland Bless, the spokesperson of the OSCE, the article which was published on July 4, contained the names, addresses and photos of a number of people, who were qualified as war criminals. "Rilindja" was warned with regard to the article published on July 18, 2000 "the criminals are privileged-the Albanians are destroyed".
According to the UNMIK police, in the evening, a grenade was thrown at the yard of a Serbian house in Fushë-Kosova. DARDANA: At about 10.30 p.m., an unidentified person opened fire at 3 Serbian houses in the village of Berrivojsa wounding Radovan Antiq, Goran Antiq and Marko Peshiq. The latter was seriously wounded and was taken in a helicopter to the American military hospital in the Bondsteel camp in Sojeva near Ferizaj. After the attack, local Serbs (mainly from Berrivojsa) blocked the road to Dardana. The road was unblocked at 1 a.m.
FUSHË-KOSOVA: A number of uniforms of the Serbian police forces were found in a water well in Fushë-Kosova. Norwegian soldiers and the UNMIK police are investigating the case.
MITROVICA: At about 10
p.m., a hand grenade was thrown next to a building in the northern part
of the town. Material damage was caused. At the very same time, there was
shooting from an Albanian flat, currently occupied by a Serb.
KUKËS (Albania): In the village of Pobreg, on the road between Kukës and Morina, 46 Kosovars were looted by 4-armed persons wearing masks. The assaulters stopped the bus 10 km. from the border cross.
PRISHTINA: Zeqir Hasani (1943) stated to the CDHRF that KFOR soldiers had seized a number of UÇK emblems and the photo of Zahir Pajaziti from his kiosk in Prishtina. He stated that the soldiers were accompanied by a Serbian interpreter and that they had often hindered his sons in their work.
Presheva, Bujanoc, Medvegja
BUJANOC: On July 17,
in the evening, there were a number of powerful detonations in the vicinity
of the police checkpoint in Konçul, in the demilitarized zone between
Kosova and Serbia. According to Serbian sources, 3 policemen were wounded.
Miroslav Banjac from Bujanoc was seriously wounded and taken to the military
hospital in Belgrade.
On July 19, at 4 p.m., there were clashes between the Serbian police and the UÇPMB in the vicinity of Konçul. During the armed clashes in the vicinity of the police checkpoint in Konçul mortars were used. The house of Musli Latifi from Konçul was hit. A child of the latter was lightly injured. The next day a number of families fled the village and headed towards Kosova. During the armed clashes, which occurred 3 days ago, the house of Shaban Azemi, was hit. Apart from material damages there were no casualties.
During the last few days, the Serbian forces stationed in the village of Gjergjevca, opened fire towards the village of Qarr (near the border with Kosova). Most of the villagers had fled the village.
PRESHEVA: On July 18, the Serbian police threatened to seize the passports of the Albanians from Presheva, Bujanoc and Medvegja, who work abroad and who were coming home for their holidays. In order not to hand in their passports they were forced to pay DM 100 per person.
PEJA: On July 10, in
the evening, unidentified persons threw 2 bombs in the house yard of Sali
Ramë Berisha (41), a Roma from the village of Qyshk. Sali was wounded.
LIPJAN: On July 15, at 7.30 p.m., a group of some 20 Roma from the village of Magura, who are presently living in Gurra (Vrella), armed with hand grenades and automatic weapons, attacked the family of Kadri Bungu in the village of Rrezar (Medvec). Thanks to the intervention of KFOR soldiers the family did not suffer any injuries. A number of the assaulters were arrested.
Prishtina, July 24, 2000